Open contempt for those in better shape is first step to a healthier you

imageLike many Americans, I recently stripped down, prepared myself for the worst, and stepped onto the scale. Soon after, I retrieved the scale from the front yard and accepted the fact that, yes — it was probably defective.

At a friend’s suggestion, I tried our neighbor’s scale. This led to the discovery that, of the 23 scales I tested within a five-mile radius of our home, every single one was off by exactly 11 pounds.

Being a journalist, I had to wonder: Was this a widespread problem? Were we being duped into needless exercise by faulty scales?!?

I immediately brought this to the attention of my reporters here at the newspaper who, realizing the implications, told me to stay out of their candy drawers.

The truth is, I have no one but myself to blame for putting on these extra pounds. This is why, every year around this time, people just like me make a commitment to start going to the gym.

I know this because I recognize most of these people from last year. We all have the same expression: grim determination mixed with a sense of purpose in knowing that, afterward, there’s a fast-food place nearby. We come dressed with headbands and towels over our shoulders even though we spend most of our time wandering around the gym looking for water bottles.  Continue reading

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Apparently, not getting to the gym adds 10 pounds of guilt to everything

image Forgive me for I have sinned; it’s been nearly two months since my last workout.

That was my thought as I entered the gym this week, ready to pay my penance in the company of those who’d kept the faith in my absence. I had my moves planned: enter quickly, cut left and directly into the weight room, bypassing the front desk and the gym’s owner to avoid a possible “confessional” situation.

But of course I couldn’t be that lucky.

“Hey there, Ned!”

I stopped in mid-stride, so close to the pivot that would’ve carried me to freedom. “Hey, Jim,” I said, smiling meekly. Apologetically.

Pathetically, really.

Jim leaned forward on the desk, dressed in his usual sweatpants and T-shirt lightly stained with perspiration after leading a 50-minute aerobics workout that helped trim his ballooning body fat from .08 down to .05. He looked at me and folded his hands together on the desktop, as if ready to pray for me. Continue reading